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Invincible Armada

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The Invincible Armada

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The Invincible Armada

O noble England, fall downe upon thy knee:
And praise thy God with thankfull hart which still maintaineth thee.
The forraine forces, that seekes thy utter spoile:
Shall then through his especiall grace be brought to shamefull foile.
With mightie power they come unto our coast:
To ouer runne our countrie quite, they make their brags and boast.
In strength of men they set their onely stay:
But we, upon the Lord our God, will put our trust alway.

Great is their number, of ships upon the sea:
And their provision wonderfull, but Lord thou art our stay.
Their armed souldiers are many by account:
Their aiders eke in this attempt, doe sundrie waies, surmount.
The Pope of Rome with many blessed graines:
To sanctify their bad pretense bestowed both cost and paines.
But little land, is not dismaide at all:
The Lord no doubt is on our side, which soone will worke their fall.
In happy houre, our foes we did descry:
And under saile with gallant winde as they cam passing by.
Which suddaine tidings, to Plymmouth being brought:
Full soone oure Lord high Admirall, for to pursue them sought.
And to his traine, coragiously he said:
Now, for the Lord and our good Queene, to fight be not afraide.
Regard our cause, and play your partes like men:
The Lord no doubt will prosper vs, in all our actions then.

This great Galleazzo, which was so huge and hye:
That like a bulwarke on the sea, did seeme to each mans eye.
There was it taken, unto our great reliefe:
And divers Nobles, in which traine Don Pietro was the chiefe.
Stronge was she stuft, with Cannons great and small:
And other instruments of warre, Which we obtained all.
A certaine signe, of good successe we trust:
That God will ouerthrow the rest, as he hath done the first.

Then did our Navie pursue the rest amaine:
With roaring noise of Cannons great; till they neere Callice
With manly courage, they followed them so fast:
Another mightie Gallion did seeme to yeeld at last.
And in distresse, for sauegard of their lives:
A flag of truce they did hand out, with many mournfull cries:
Which when our men, did perfectly espie:
Some little Barkes they sent to her, to board her quietly.

But these false Spaniards, esteeming them but weake:
When they within their danger came, their malice forth did breake.
With charged Cannons, they laide about them then:
For to destroy those proper Barkes, and all their valiant men.
Which when our men perceived so to be:
Like Lions fierce they forward went, to quite this iniurie.
And bourding them, with strong and mightie hand:
They kild the men vntill their Arke, did sinke in Callice sand. . . .

Our pleasant countrie, so fruitfull and so faire:
They doe intend by deadly warre, to make both poore and bare.
Our townes and cities, to rack and sacke likewise:
To kill and murder man and wife, as malice doth arise.
And to deflower our virgins in our sight:
And in the cradle cruelly the tender babe to smite.
Gods holy truth, they meane for to cast downe:
And to deprive our noble Queene, both of her life and crowne. . .

But God almightie be blessed evermore:
Whox doth encourage Englishmen, to beate them from our shoare.
With roaring Cannons, their hastie steps to stay:
And with the force of thundering shot to make them flye away.
Who made account, before this time or day:
Against the walles of faire London, their banners to display.
But their intent, the Lord will bring to nought:
For faithfully we call and cry, for succour as we ought. . . .
Lord God almightie, which hath the harts in hand:
Of euerie person to dispose defend this English land.
Bless thou our Soueraigne with long and happie life:
Indue her Councel with thy grace, and end this mortall strife.
Give to the rest, of Commons more and lesse:
Louing harts, obedient minds, and perfect faithfulnesse.
That they and we, and all with one accord
On Sion hill may sing the praise of our most mightie Lord.

Notes: Galleazzo: galleass (galleon with oars as well as sails)
       Don Pietro: Pedro de Valdez, a Spanish admiral.
       Callice: Calais

Printed 1858
From A Ballad History of England, Palmer
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